April 06, 2024

Down the Homestretch and Looking Ahead (Like WAY Ahead)

By this weekend's end, I'll be down to less than 10K words for The Dubious Commode, and I've yet to get going with Voices in the Briars even though I'm champing at the bit. What's keeping me back at the moment is setting for that book, which is pretty stupid considering it's a dark fantasy story that's set in a vaguely European country. I thought at first to settle down with French names, etc., seeing as how the Bluebeard tale is most known through Charles Perrault's version. But I saw that there are variants, and one of those was from Estonia. Naturally, I can't find any text on it, so I'm defaulting to Perrault's take. However, I'm still sitting on the story's main setting, and I'm hoping to decide for sure tomorrow. There's not much left to write for The Dubious Commode, and I really need to get a move on with the next book.

I did mention before that we'll be back in the world of revenants for Voices in the Briars, and I'm also back to digging up stuff on Elizabeth B├íthory ("the Blood Countess") and the legend (mostly falsehoods) behind her gruesome reputation. Because I'm making all kinds of connections between the Bluebeard character (still unnamed) in my story and the legend of the Blood Countess, and I hope to mine the holy hell out of history. 

In the process of writing today's chapter for The Dubious Commode, I made Prue blurt something out in reference to Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott, which made me look for the ballad's text online, which led me to consider the legend and all the sumptuous visuals in the poem. I love that poem, btw, and it's got nothing to do with all the literary analyses done about it (though those are really interesting explorations of the text) but really about the story on a more literal level. I think it's gorgeous and eerie and tragic, which also led me to explore the folklore of weaving. 

The Lady of Shalott by William Maw Egley
Which then led me to another myth I've never heard of before (Philomela), and now things are working in my head that are bringing so many disparate elements together, and between Tennyson's ballad, folklore, and mythology, I'm now adding another book idea to my growing list of to-be-written stories. It's getting ridiculous, folks, not to mention painful since I'm so excited and impatient to get on with things, but I only have one brain and one pair of hands. Plus I've got a life outside writing, and there's no way for me to write the following all at once: Voices in the Briars, The Perfect Rochester, Compline, The Bells of St. Mark's Eve. And now I have one more: Loom and Mirror. 

I'm even playing with mock-ups of cover art, which says something about how seriously I'm taking this. That said, things can still happen that'll keep this new plotbunny from taking form, so I'm not committing myself fully to anything. All I can say is that the idea's there, and it's promising as hell, and I love taking three different things and making something out of them. We'll see where things go in this case, but I love these flashes of inspiration.

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